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61. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
AGENDA / NOTEBOOK
62. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Joan Pages Armstrong on the Role of Laws in Counterfactual Supporting
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Armstrong (1983) poses two requirements that law-statements must satisfy in order to support the corresponding counterfactuals. He also argues that law-statements can not satisfy one of these requirements if they merely express regularities, although both requirements are satisfied if law-statements are interpreted as expressing relations between universals. I try to show that Armstrong’s argument can be raised against Armstrong’s own solution by adding three premisses to it: the inference thesis, the contingency thesis and a principle whose rationality I also argue for. Finally, I offer a more reasonable alternative condition for nomic counterfactual supporting which is satisfied by law-statements if they are interpreted as expressing relations between universals, but not so if we interpret them as mere regularities.
63. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
SUMARIO DEL VOL. XII / CONTENTS OF VOL. XII
64. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Enrique A. Sanchez Perez, José Sanchez Marin Sobre algunas propiedades formaIes de los sistemas de representación en química: (On Some Formal Properties of the Chemical Representation Systems)
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En este trabajo se define formamente el concepto de representacion en química utilizando homomorfismos desde estructuras algebraicas, que llamamos sistemas de tipo C, en otras estructuras especiales de símbolos muy relacionados con los que son habituales en la qímica experimental. Para la definicion de los sistemas de tipo C se ha seleccionado un conjunto minimo de relaciones y funciones, que son necesarias para expresar proposiciones significativas en química. Tambien se define un lenguaje formal de primer orden adecuado a los sistemas de tipo C, que llamamos L(C). EI resultado principal que se demuestra es que toda representación que verifica las mismas sentencias de L(C) que un sistema de tipo C, es necesariamente isomorfo a él. Se concluye por lo tanto que puede existir un problema linguístico subyacente en la aplicacion que de la mecaníca cuántica se hace en la química teórica.The concept of representation in chemistry bas been formallv defined by means of homomorphisms from algebraical structures, which we call type-C systems, to some special sets of symbols which can be related to the symbols ordinarily used in experimental chemistry. A minimum number of relations and functions, which would suffice to express significant propositions in chemistry, have been chosen to define type-C systems. A first order formal language L(C) adequate to type-C systems has been defined. It has been shown that each representation that verifies the same sentences of L(C) as a type-C system is necessarily isomorphic to it. It is concluded that a systematic study of the representation problem in chemistry is in order because a deep language problem underlies the application of quantum mechanies to chemical problems.
65. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Eric Oberheim, Paul Hoyningen-Huene Incommensurability, Realism, and Meta-Incommensurability
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The essay begins with a detailed consideration of the introduction of incommensurability by Feyerabend in 1962 which exposes several historically inaccurate claims about incommensurability. Section 2 is a coneise argument against causal theories of reference as used as arguments against incommensurability. We object to this strategy because it begs the question by presupposing realism. Section 3 introduces and discusses a hypothesis that w'e call meta-incommensurability which provides the reason for the wide-spread accusation of question-begging and use of circular argumentation among the proponents of both realist and non-realist interpretations of science.
66. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
LIBROS RECIBIDOS / BOOKS RECEIVED
67. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Brigitte Falkenburg Incommensurability and Measurement
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Does incommensurability threaten the realist’s claim that physical magnitudes express properties of natural kinds? Some clarification comes from measurement theory and scientific practice. The standard (empiricist) theory of measurement is metaphysically neutral. But its representational operational and axiomatic aspects give rise to several kinds of a one-sided metaphysics. In scientific practice. the scales of physical quantities (e.g. the mass or length scale) are indeed constructed from measuring methods which have incompatible axiomatic foundations. They cover concepts which belong to incomensurable theories. I argue, however, that the construction of such scales conmmits us to a modest version of scientific realism.
68. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Howard Sankey Incommensurability: The Current State of Play
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The incommensurability thesis is the thesis that the content of some alternative scientific theories is incomparable due to translation failure between the vocabulary the theories employ. This paper presents an overview of the main issues which have arisen in the debate about incommensurability. It also briefly outlines a response to the thesis based on a modified causal theory of reference which allows change of reference subsequent to initial baptism, as well as a role to description in the determination of reference. On such a view. the content of theories may be compared on the basis of shared reference, despite failure of translation. Two recent developments involving the incomnensurability thesis are also examined: (i) the taxonomic version of the incomensurability thesis found in Kuhn’s later writings. (ii) Hoyningen-Huenc’s neo-Kantian interpretation of Kuhn’s metaphysics.
69. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Luis Fernandez Moreno Presentation
70. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Libros recibidos / Books Received
71. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Wenceslao J. Gonzalez Prediction and Prescription in Economics: A Philosophical and Methodological Approach
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“Prediction” and “prescription” are crucial notions for economics. This paper offers a philosophical and methodological approach and takes into account the connection with the problem of science and values. To do this, two steps are followed: firstly, prediction in economics -its characteristics and limits- will be examined and, secondly, the role of prescription in economics (and its relations with internal and external values) will be studied. Thus; the underlying aims of this paper are to make explicit the characters of economic prediction, to show its nexus with the economic prescription and to point out the links of both -especially, the latter- with the specific values of “economic activity” and the values of “economics as activity” (i. e., values of economic undertaking as an activity interconnected with others in the social context).
72. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Daniel Hausman Confirming Mainstream Economic Theory
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This essay is concerned with the special difficulties that arise in testing and appraising mainstream economic theory. I argue that, like other theories designed to apply to complex open systems, it is very hard to confirm mainsteam economics. Parts can be tested and appraised, but the theory is only very weakly supported by evidence.
73. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Wenceslao J. Gonzalez Presentation
74. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Agenda / Notebook
75. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
SUMARIO ANALITICO / SUMMARY
76. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Libros recibidos / Books Received
77. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Herbert Simon Economics as a Historical Science
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As science deals with invariants and history with dated events, the phrase “historical science” might be thought to be an oxymoron. However, the prevalence in the natural sciences and economics of differential equations filled with time derivatives should persuade us of the legitimacy of joining history with science. The combination can, in fact, take several forms. This paper examines some of the ways inwhich history and economics can be fashioned into economic history, and the reasons why they need to be so joined.A particularly important source of historicity in economics is that boundedly rational economic actors represent the economic scene in radically different ways from time to time, and these changes occur as a function of natural and social events, social influences on perception, and the molding of human motives by the social environment, which is itself time dependent. For these and other reasons, many of thembound closely to basic human characteristics, the dynamic movements of the economic system depend not only on invariant laws, but on continually changing boundary conditions as weIl.
78. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Uskali Mäki Aspects of Realism about Economics
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A few aspects of the issue of realism are addressed in the context of a social science. The paper looks for adjustments needed in our conceptions of scientiflc realism to accommodate some peculiarities of economics. Ontologically speaking, economics appears to be closely linked to commonsense conceptions of the world, thus the problem of theoretical concepts does not emerge in the same form it is often taken to exist in physics. Theory formation is largely a matter of idealization and isolation among observables rather than postulation of unobservables. Given that isolative theories violate the truth in many ways, truth is more of a problem than existence in a realism pertaining to economics. The idea of significant truth -which is able to tolerare varieties of untruths in theories- is suggested to be based on the notion of the way the world works; this is a matter of the causal structure and functioning of the world. None of this is undermined by the acknowledgement that economist’s attittudes and decisions are shapped by rhetorical persuasion.
79. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
SUMARIO ANALITICO / SUMMARY
80. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Niko Strobach Time and Development in Kripke’s “Naming and Necessity”
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In this article, I want to focus on time and development in Kripke’s “Naming and Necessity” by considering two topics: (1) the evolution of scientific knowledge; (2) the evolution of biographies. In connection with (1) I suggest the introduction of a sentence operator for epistemic possibility and argue that some of Kripke’s strong metaphysical statements are finely counterbalanced by rather “Popperian” epistemological considerations. In connection with (2) I consider the idea of exploiting necessity of origin for a crossworld identity criterion.